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dc.contributor.advisor Brandon, Robert
dc.contributor.advisor Rosenberg, Alex
dc.contributor.advisor Guzeldere, Guven
dc.contributor.advisor McShea, Daniel W.
dc.contributor.author Ramsey, Grant Aaron
dc.date 2007
dc.date.accessioned 2007-05-07T19:07:23Z
dc.date.available 2007-05-07T19:07:23Z
dc.date.issued 2007-05-07T19:07:23Z
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10161/196
dc.description Dissertation
dc.description.abstract It has become increasingly common to explain the behavior of animals—from sperm whales to songbirds—in terms of culture. But what is animal culture, what is its relationship to other biological concepts and to human culture, and what impact does culture have on a species’ evolution and ecology? My dissertation is an attempt to answer these questions. After an introductory chapter, the dissertation begins (Chapter 2) with a proposal for a novel concept of culture and a critique of the existing ways in which culture has been characterized. These characterizations include views from cultural anthropology as well as attempts to apply the concept of culture to animals. The existing concepts are problematic in a number of ways, such as a priori excluding infrahumans from being candidates for possessing culture, or mistaking what culture is for its measure. In this chapter I offer a way to understand culture that avoids these and other problems. With a concept of culture in hand, the next chapter of my dissertation (Chapter 3) examines and criticizes one key way of understanding the concept of culture, meme theory. In Chapter 4 I turn to the question of how cultural systems can arise in nature, how they can be adaptive, and how the evolution and ecology of species is impacted by the possession of a cultural system. In order to answer these questions I introduce a general constraint on cultural systems—what I am calling the Fundamental Constraint—that has to be satisfied in order for cultural systems to be adaptive. In the final chapter I develop a concept of innovation and draw out the conceptual and empirical implications of this concept. en
dc.format.extent 2355484 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso en_US en
dc.subject Culture en
dc.subject Innovation en
dc.subject Constraint en
dc.subject Meme en
dc.subject Learning en
dc.subject Evolution en
dc.title Culture From Infrahumans to Humans: Essays in the Philosophy of Biology en
dc.type Dissertation en
dc.department Philosophy

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